June 27, 2016

Grapefruit League Tradition Shapes Florida Baseball History

March 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the most popular annual rites of spring—watching big leaguers shake off the rust in spring training camps—is synonymous with Florida. Spring training in the Sunshine State can be traced back to a four-day camp held by the Washington Statesmen in Jacksonville in 1888, more than a century before major league teams came to […]

Spring Training Tradition Catches on at Hot Springs

February 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Catcher Emmett Rogers became the first Arkansas-born player to reach the majors when he played for the Toledo Maumees of the American Association on April 19, 1890. He would be the only player from the state to appear in a 19th century game. Arkansas’ enduring baseball tradition dates back to the formation of the Little […]

Baseball Greatness Was Forged on Sandlot Fields in Alabama

January 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The narrative of baseball’s origins centers on distant fields in New York and New Jersey, mythical tales of an army officer inspired to innovate in Cooperstown and other hard to pinpoint half-truths. But it seems baseball really came alive in the sandlot fields of Mobile and the unheralded mill towns around Birmingham, where determined boys […]

Baseball’s Early Days Trace Back to New York

January 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

No state can claim a bigger share of baseball history than New York, starting with the belief that the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York was the first organized baseball team. Fittingly, a player named Austin Knickerbocker (born in Bangall, N.Y.) made it to the majors, although he played just 21 games. Alexander Cartwright, […]

California Leads the Way in Producing Stars, Nicknames and Trailblazers

January 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Frontier prospectors discovered “there’s gold in them thar hills,” but today’s prospectors are more interested in mining for five-tool baseball players. Baseball’s Gold Rush has been ongoing in the Golden State for several decades, as California has produced more major league players than any other state (2,150 through the 2015 season, about 748 more than […]

Selecting the All-Time Best Pitchers from Texas

December 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When I set out to write a book that outlined all-time teams by player’s state of birth, I encountered a number of tough challenges. For example, who was the best Texas-born second baseman, Joe Morgan or Rogers Hornsby? I went back and forth a hundred times on that selection and ended up picking Morgan. I’d […]

Unusual Names from the Baseball World

December 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

As Abbott and Costello would say, they sure give baseball players peculiar names nowadays. As I researched my book, Baseball State by State over a five-year period, I kept coming across players with unusual names. So I included many of them in the book, which devotes a chapter to each state and includes all-time teams […]

Baseball History Comes to Life at Unique Baseball Museums

October 16, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Once the baseball playoffs come to a conclusion, baseball fans are forced to sit around and count the days until spring training arrives. Predicting who will go in the next Marlins’ fire sale is just not as exciting as watching live game action. However, late fall and winter don’t have to be periods devoid of meaningful […]

Negro Leagues Players Who Have Been Overlooked by the Hall of Fame

August 29, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

When I set out to write my book, Baseball State by State, which features all-time teams by players’ state of birth, I originally did not include Negro Leagues players. I quickly realized the error of my ways, since how can you name an All-Time Georgia team and leave out Josh Gibson or compile an All-Time […]

Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game…Without Getting Injured in a Bizarre Fashion?

March 6, 2013 by · 4 Comments 

I finally figured out how Cal Ripken Jr. managed to play 2,632 consecutive games for the Orioles. Evidently he didn’t wrestle his dog, take his kids shopping or shovel his driveway during the streak. “The Iron Man” was fortunate to stay relatively healthy, but he was also smart enough not to leave anything to chance. […]

Selecting the All-Time Dominican Republic Team

December 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Dominican Republic has a proud tradition of sending talented baseball players to the States, with current stars such as Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre, Hanley Ramirez and Albert Pujols hailing from the Caribbean island nation. A total of 563 players born in the Dominican Republic have made it to the majors to date […]

Taking a Look at the All-Time Puerto Rico Team

August 14, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

When the Houston Astros made shortstop Carlos Correa the top pick in the 2012 draft, it was further proof that Puerto Rico remains a “rich port” for baseball stars. The tiny island, which operates as a territory of the United States, is the birthplace of 234 Major League players including three Hall of Famers — […]

Waiting for Cano

February 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I can’t wait until spring training starts. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 19 for the Yankees, and that date can’t come soon enough. With apologies to playwright Samuel Beckett, I find myself “Waiting for Cano.” That’s because I will be attending my first spring training game next month: Yankees vs. the Phillies on March 30 […]

Will the Yankees Make Some Noise This Year?

May 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Yankees began making noise in the off-season, starting with the adversarial negotiations with Captain Derek Jeter, the failed signing of Cliff Lee, the retirement of Andy Pettitte and the signing of free agent reliever Rafael Soriano against the wishes of General Manager Brian Cashman. More recently the noise has been the debate over whether […]

Here’s What is Making News in Spring Training

February 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s not surprising that Albert Pujols and the Cardinals were unable to agree on a new contract before spring training, as it makes more sense for both sides to see what the market will bear after the season. You can eliminate the Angels as a possible suitor for Pujols. They have ruled out going after […]

The Balance of Power Has Officially Shifted in Baseball

December 15, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

When Cliff Lee finally announced he was taking his talents to Philly, it marked the final proof that the balance of power has shifted in baseball. No longer can the Yankees money-whip the best players into coming to the Bronx and no longer do the Yankees and Red Sox reside alone in the big-spenders group. […]

Yankees Can Look Forward to a Busy Offseason

October 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With the Yankees’ quest for a repeat championship crushed by a hungry and talented Rangers team, the Bronx Bombers face a long offseason of uncertainty. It’s amazing how many leaks can spring up in what was supposed to be a $213 million juggernaut. Unable to fend off the low-budget Rays for the division title, the […]

The Famous Names of Not So Famous Players

August 27, 2010 by · 12 Comments 

Through the years a number of baseball players have became so well known that their fame transcended the game. Everyone knew who Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle were, even people who were not baseball fans. Then you have the players whose names attracted attention for other, more unfortunate reasons. Johnny Grubb, John Wockenfuss, […]

Evaluating the Yankees as They Prepare for the Stretch Run

August 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With the trade deadline now behind us, baseball fans can now relax a little and stop checking the web for hourly updates on what deals their teams have cooking. Fans in Kansas City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland can safely focus on football now that they know which prospects their teams got back for their serviceable […]

There Will Never Be Another Owner Like ‘The Boss’

July 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

When I received news that George Steinbrenner had passed away at the age of 80, a wave of thoughts and emotions came over me. A lifelong fan of the Yankees, I was 10 years old when Steinbrenner and his partners bought the team for $8.8 million in 1973 in a deal that now rivals the […]

Hall of Fame Classic is the Perfect Father’s Day Event

June 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

I can’t think of a better way to spend Father’s Day than sitting in the stands at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown watching Hall of Famers and other ex-greats put on a show.  If Ernie Banks were there he would have insisted they play two. My 12-year-old son, Brandon, was right beside me, and my father […]

A Humorous Look at Recent Baseball News

June 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Indians were expecting close to 35,000 fans to attend Sunday’s game against the Nationals, the team’s highest attendance since Opening Day. I think it’s great that so many Indians fans are excited about seeing highly touted prospect Carlos Santana play. Hear he plays a mean guitar.  Or maybe they are excited about the rejuvenated […]

Taking Stock of the First Month of Play

May 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With the first month of the season in the books it’s almost time for teams and players to panic. Batters such as David Ortiz, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Pierzynski have to wonder how long it will take them to get over the Mendoza line, while teams such as the Orioles have to wonder where it […]

Are the Yankees Ready for an Encore Performance?

March 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

New York City had not finished sweeping up the confetti from the latest parade down the Canyon of Heroes before the Yankees’ relieved fans asked the obvious question: can they repeat? It may have taken nine years to deliver championship number 27, but that doesn’t mean the team’s spoiled fans are satisfied. The difference in […]

Random Thoughts from the Baseball World…

March 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The MLB Network does an excellent job covering all the news from around the league. However, they miss a story here and there, so we’re glad to supplement their coverage with the following random thoughts. Michelle Damon has reportedly contacted Commissioner Selig and requested that Detroit be allowed to move its franchise to New Jersey. […]

Cooperstown Rediscovered

February 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

For a young boy who loves baseball, there is no cooler place to grow up than near Cooperstown, N.Y., the home of baseball. My family spent many summer weekends boating on Otsego Lake and taking in the Norman Rockwell-like atmosphere of a village that lives and breathes baseball—just like I did. If you have a […]

Hope Springs Eternal as Spring Training Approaches

February 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Hope, optimism and positive energy are in the air as baseball fans count down the days until Opening Day. It all starts with spring training, which means fans break out the Bermuda shorts and players break out the following cliché: “I’m in the best shape of my life.” Everyone in camp says that, with the […]